A Passion
for Education

A few years ago, co-founder of CR Hope, Cosiano Ismaili Mbise was a souvenir seller on the tourist-filled streets of Arusha who struggled to make ends meet.

While he longed to go back to school to improve his English skills, he had no choice but to continue working to provide for his wife and six young children.

One day, a kind tourist named William Fraser made Cosiano the offer of funding six months of English training, as well as financially supporting his family while he studied.

This random act of generosity helped Cosiano improve his English dramatically, which helped him secure a job in a hotel in Zanzibar.

Over the next five years, Cosiano met people from all over the world, learning every day, and eventually managed to save enough money to open a shop of his own.

Where it began

The idea for ‘Cosiano Renos HOPE’ Foundation (CR HOPE) was born in 2016, during a trip to the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.

Founder Renos Fountoulakis was visiting the island and was moved by the struggles he witnessed the local people facing every day. Many children have no access to schools and barely have enough money to live. He wanted to help.

However, it was not until a chance encounter with Cosiano that the idea for CR HOPE really began to take shape.


After talking with Renos about their shared interests in education, Cosiano offered to use a small piece of land that he owned to build a school in Kizimkazi, Mkunguni where local children could learn for free.

Renos and Cosiano agreed that this would be the most effective way to help and improve the future of the locals. Cosiano could even use his local network and friendships to save money on materials and tradesmen. Cosiano hopes that Zanzibar children can benefit from education the way he did.

A Dream
Comes to Life

CR Hope Founder
Philanthropist. Education enthusiast

In January 2020, Renos and Cosiano opened the school ‘Seeds of Light’ and welcomed the first batch of nursery students. Today, the school has opened its doors to first grade primary students as well and supports the education of 72 children in total.

“The idea first came after my first visit to Zanzibar, where I was moved by the plight of the children after taking a tour of the local community outside a village called Kizimkazi.

The children of this small community did not have access to schools or educational facilities and I immediately saw an opportunity where I could make a lasting impact on their future beyond simply making dollar contributions.

With the financial support of friends, family and colleagues, as well as my own personal contribution, I launched the CR HOPE Foundation with a local philanthropist, Cosiano Ismail Mbise, who donated the land upon which the school facilities have been built.”

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